Watching the recent episode of the DVC Show about Member Benefits got me thinking about the benefits I wish we had as DVC members. Don’t get me wrong, I love the perks we currently have as direct members, and I didn’t buy into DVC to get the benefits, but I do feel there’s room for a few more. Given the cost of joining it’s nice to have some extra perks which make you feel special and valued as a member. I’ve tried to come up with some which I’d like to think could actually be possible one day.
A Member Lounge in Every Park
The Member Lounge in EPCOT is awesome. I love nothing more than taking some time away from the heat and crowds, to just sit and relax up there with a drink and maybe a snack. My kids call it the secret club because honestly, that’s what it feels like. A special club reserved for members that you wouldn’t even know existed unless somebody told you. Going up there always feels exclusive and special, and really makes me feel valued as a member.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if this was possible in all four theme parks in Walt Disney World? Imagine having a secret hideaway overlooking Cinderella Castle. Or even better inside Cinderella Castle. Whilst inside the castle might be a bit big of an ask (a girl can dream though), I don’t think a lounge in every park is. Disney is clearly trying to sway people to buy direct over resale and I think this perk would certainly help their cause.
DVC Member Entrance to the Parks
Annual Passholders get their own dedicated entrance to the parks, so why shouldn’t DVC members? I know a lot of members also have an Annual Pass, but I still think it would be nice to acknowledge them with their own entrance. As a member, your Magic Band might turn Mickey purple rather than green as you enter the park, which may be followed by a greeting of ‘Welcome Home’. This is a nice touch (if a little unpredictable) but to be able to skip past the lines to get in through an exclusive entrance would be even better.
DVC Festival Merchandise and Gifts
Exclusive Festival Merchandise. Another benefit that Annual Passholders seem to get, but DVC members don’t. I’m thinking specifically of the EPCOT Food and Wine, or Flower and Garden Festival merchandise available for Passholders only. Some of these items are available to buy only if you can show your Annual Pass, and some of them (magnets and coasters for example) are completely free. Being a sucker for exclusive Disney merchandise, I would love it if there were also DVC items available for the festivals. Given the popularity of the EPCOT resorts during the Food and Wine Festival, I’d hazard a guess that I’m not the only one. I’m sure a DVC exclusive range of Food and Wine merchandise would fly off the shelves, and a free gift here and there would definitely go down a treat.
Currently, Disney allows guests to book three Fastpasses for each day of their stay. For onsite guests, whether cash bookings or staying on DVC points, these can be booked 60 days before their trip. Guests staying offsite can only book 30 days in advance. There have been rumors that this going to change depending on the resort category you’re staying at. For example, if you were staying in a deluxe resort you could end up with more Fastpasses per day, or a longer advanced booking window, than those guests staying in a moderate or value resort. If this were the case, then it would be nice if DVC members got the highest priority. This could be a longer advanced booking window of 90 days, or better still an extra Fastpass or two each day.
Dining Plan Discount
As a member, we can currently add the dining plan to our stay. This has to be added at least 48 hours ahead of your vacation and paid for in full at the time of booking it. At a cost of $75.51 per adult per night and $27.99 per child per night for the regular dining plan (one table service credit, one quick service credit and two snacks each day) this comes at quite a cost. Wouldn’t it be nice if members could get the dining plan at a discounted rate? After all, members get a discount in many of the restaurants in Disney World so it really doesn’t make much sense to pay for the dining plan at the current price. The potential savings of the dining plan are often minimal when compared to standard food prices, even less so when compared to a discounted rate. If members were given 10-20% off the normal dining plan rates I think this would make it a much more appealing option. It would also help to ease the sting of the free dining offers available to guests booking cash stays, which DVC members can’t access when staying on their points.
These are just some of the ideas I thought of, the others were much more far fetched (and definitely not likely to happen any time soon). How about a fifth park, just for DVC members? Or free park tickets every time you stay?
Are there any member benefits you think Disney could add that would make your membership feel even more special? Or are you more interested in the vacations you can have, and not so bothered about any of the other perks?
13 thoughts on “Member Benefits I Wish We Had”
I can see Disney offering DVC Festival merchandise (especially F&W) and lumping DVC stays with deluxe resorts with respect to FastPass+ treatment. Both these items represent little or no cost to Disney. We MIGHT get DVC members, staying on points, access to the Annual Pass gate at the parks. All the other suggestions would cost DVC money that cannot be funded from member dues. In the current management environment I do not see that happening.
I love the idea of discounted dining. Those are valid points.
I know this will never happen again. When we joined in 1994, they gave us free passes for 2 or 3 years (?). I know it was at least two years and it was for each stay. Ahhh! The good ol’ days.
Getting free tickets was the best perk ever!! It was a HUGE selling point for us when we joined DVC back in 1995. The free tickets were discontinued on January 1, 2000 (if I remember correctly). A sad day!!
The free passes ended Dec 31, 1999.
I like the idea of DVC members getting 90 days out to book FastPasses and maybe double the passes to six per day split across any of the parks for the same day if you want to park hop. That would not cost Disney a dime and really go a long ways for each member. We pay a lot to be DVC members and it would be great bragging rights members would have to help promote more DVC members. The, look what I get bragging.
These are all amazing ideas!
I really like the idea of the separate entrances and 90 FP booking window!
Off topic sort of: I can only imagine the negative backlash should WDW actually decide to implement resort category FP allotment etc….yikes!
I wouldn’t mind paying for season passes on installments like Florida residents
I think it would be nice to get discounts on things like spa treatments and recreational activities. Also, a discount on all food, table service, counter service, snacks, festival booths, etc. would be wonderful.
We do receive some discounts on spa treatments, recreational activities, miniature golf, etc., but I agree it would be nice to have discounts on counter service food and snacks (we do receive discounts at most table service restaurants).
I also would like to see discounts on all types of tickets, not just the annual passes. Sometimes, we only need a ticket for a few days. We have brought our kids’ friends with us on occasion, and they only need a 1 or 2 day ticket; so it would be great to discounts on those. This is a great article on which to “wish upon a star!”
The annual pass line to get into the parks is often the longest line, you would think everyone in the line would know how to scan their card or magic ban and then do the finger scan. Nope being both DVC & AP I usually skip the AP line to access the parks. Maybe it’s because we usually go late afternoons.
I think that Disney gives more to their annual passholders then to DVC members by a long shot. I would like to see the addition of special event DVC members only merch. I also think that with all the free dining plans Disney gives away they can afford to give DVC members this perk once a year. At least give 50% off. Why is it that we shell out our money ahead of time and we get less than the general public does or less than Annual passholders? One thing that has bugged me since day 1 is the fact that they only make your beds up once every 3rd night. I didn’t think it would but here again, if you are just a general public person with a room reservation, they make your bed every day? Why give less services to DVC members.
If we could get some of those perks, especially the dining plan discount, I would consider buying points direct.
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